Check that Mirror!
Last year brought heartache in the news as we read story after story of children being left in vehicles as temperatures rose. Unfortunately, as summer approaches once again, the risk of these incidents will most likely increase.
While it can be quick to place blame in these situations, most of these parents are just like you and me: good and loving people who would never even dream of harming their children.
These accidents don’t seem to be a reflection on the parent, just simply a change in routine for that person. Oftentimes it is the parent who doesn’t normally drop off or pick up the child that finds themselves in this nightmare.
According to noheatstroke.org, in the past 16 years, there have been a shocking 636 heatstroke-related deaths of children left in vehicles. On average, that’s about 37 children dying per year in a situation that could very easily be avoided. Not surprisingly, this year has already brought 2 deaths of toddlers.
Here are some ways to ensure this never happens to you:
- If you are dropping off your child, which may be a change in your daily routine, set a reminder on your phone or watch.
- Place a needed item in the back with the child, such as: purse, phone, wallet, jacket, etc. This will serve as another reason to check the backseat before leaving the car.
- CHECK THAT MIRROR! Before exiting your vehicle, always check the rearview mirror and remember to look behind you.
- Never leave your child in the car alone, regardless of their age. If you question whether they will be okay momentarily, odds are already against you. Do not leave children in the car. Period.
Whether it be a quick trip to the grocery store, running into the pharmacy, or simply paying the gas station attendant, never leave your child alone. Situations can arise where you may be gone longer than expected and every minute counts when a child is alone. Many people witness children being left alone in cars and feel prompted to take action. Others may feel hesitant to become involved fearing a civil suit. For information on “Good Samaritan Laws” state by state and how you are protected, click here.
So remember, always check your mirror and backseat before leaving your vehicle and NEVER leave your child unattended in the car!
Attorney Catherine Meehan recently settled an accident involving a pedestrian and a police vehicle. A jogger was struck by a police patrol vehicle in Goose Creek, South Carolina, in 2017….